Who is the client of a strata management company?
On a very basic level who is the Strata Management company’s client? There can only be 3 answers: 1) the Strata Council, 2) Strata Corporation, or 3) both? Surprisingly the answer is 1.
The Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) has made it very clear that Strata Management agreements are with Strata Corporations, and Strata Corporations are managed by their Strata Councils. This being the case, the natural extension to that the Strata Council is the client.
In section 4 of the Strata Property Act it says right there that the …powers and duties must (no discretion here) be exercised and performed by a Strata Council… There it is then, the Strata Council runs the Strata Corporation subject to all the checks and balances put in place on them by the Act, Regulations and the Strata Corporation’s bylaws.
Following the logic of the RECBC, are we as Strata Managers (read Strata Agents) to take calls/emails from owners in the Strata Corporation? Or are we to just tell the owner to put in writing and we’ll forward it to the Strata Council for discussion at their next meeting. This question is somewhat rhetorical because as Strata Agents we’re obligated to forward any correspondence from owners (and others) to the Strata Council for their review and consideration. But what about the small issues that don’t necessarily need to go to the Strata Council?
Say an owner phones up and says they’ve misplaced their common area key and they’d like a new one? Do I put them on hold until the next Council meeting? Of course not. We follow the protocol that was hopefully established by our Strata Agents and the Strata Council on this matter and then provide the Council with a report for their next Council Meeting.
But say an owner sends me an email saying that their Strata Council has done/said something that in the opinion of the owner is wrong? What does a Strata Agent do? On the face of it the answer is very clear; tell the owner by return email, that you’ll forward their email to Council for review.
However, most Agency Agreements provide that the termination of the Agency Agreement must require a ¾ vote for a decision. Perhaps this is specifically not to authorize the Council to terminate the Agency Agreement, but to sign the agreement only.